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Manning, Linda.

Music and lyrics by Don Herbertson and Jacqui Manning-Albert. Toronto, Playwrights Canada, c1983. 36pp, paper, $3.50, ISBN 0-88754-378-2.


Tremblay, Brian.

Music by Kerry Duse. Toronto, Playwrights Canada, c1983. 30pp, paper, $3.50, ISBN 0-88754-380-4. Distributed by Playwrights Union of Canada, 8 York St., 6th floor, Toronto, Ont., M5J 1R2.

Grades 5 and up
Reviewed by Louise Griffith

Volume 13 Number 6
1985 November

Congratulations to Playwrights Canada for publishing two excellent plays for children.

The convenient formats of both are 81/2 x 11, bound, with wide margins for notes. Both are fantasies, but pleasant, delightful ones. Each is well written in easily understood, correct, and sometimes imaginative English. The rhymes in the songs add to the charm for children. The music is impossible to assess as it is not included in the text, but it is obtainable from the authors through the Playwrights Union.

The plots of the plays are quite different. Merch the Invisible Wizard tells of Merch, a Temporary Type C Wizard, who is in trouble with Archibald, the Senior and most prestigious Wizard, because he has not completed his quota of dastardly deeds. He is sent to earth to the home of two children named Marianne and Richard. There, amusing and exciting problems arise involved with TV and computers.

Fezwick is a gull who saves a crab named McNab from death when two other seagulls attack him. The powerful magic of a special wish transforms Fezwick into a fish as he joins McNab under the sea. Fezwick makes a friend of a lovely lady fish named Lucinda and rescues her from the evil Viper Fish. Finally, he decides not to return to the sky but to remain with Lucinda enjoying the delights of the ocean.

Although both of these plays were written for children, adults will enjoy them too. Casts are small and sets relatively simple, yet there is room for a skilled director or designer to use creativity and imagination. They could be read by students from grades five to nine or acted by any high school dramatic arts class for a class project or a public presentation.

Louise Griffith, Agincourt, Ont.
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